29 July 2010

Couch to 5K

Remember back when I made this skirt?  I still haven't worn it because it's too small.  It shouldn't be too small.  I made it to "my " measurements.  Unfortunately, over the last few months, I have been expanding and my measurements are no longer my measurements.

And I'm not happy about it.

Oh, I have excuses.  Actually, I have really good excuses.  My life has been turbulent to say the least.  And when I'm stressed, I eat...and eat...and eat.  The scale and my measurements are bearing witness to my headlong tumble off of the healthy living bandwagon.

Well, it's time to get it back in gear.  I have already started to clean up my bad eating habits.  Goodbye ice cream for dinner (I wish I was kidding).  Hello well balanced meals.

Now, I want to add in some more exercise into my life.  I have always been intrigued by the concept of running 5K or 10K or a marathon.  So, I decided to start looking around for a training program.  In my googling, I ran across the "Couch to 5K Running Program" and it piqued my interest.

Basically, C25K gets you up off your (my) lazy ass and, over the course of two months, turns you into a 5K runner.  You train at a manageable three days per week (with rest days in between) to reach the 5K goal.  In the beginning, each 20 to 30 minute training session consists of alternating intervals of walking and jogging.  As the program progresses, the amount of walking decreases and the amount of jogging increases, until finally, the entire session consists of jogging.

To aid in my C25K journey, I downloaded some free podcasts that correspond to each training session.  The music is techno and the rhythm makes it easy to keep the walking and jogging pace.

I have already completed the first week and I did great.  Prior to starting the very first session, I half expected to puke up a lung at about ten minutes in, but I flew through without a hitch.  I'm actually looking forward to my next workout.  My only fear is that my bum knee (I dislocated my left knee during university while playing softball and ever since it can be a bit finicky) may cause problems.  However, if I slow down when it acts up, I should be fine.

So, has anyone else ever done this program?  Did it work for you?  If you haven't, would anyone like to join me?  The more the merrier...

34 comments:

Michee Rose said...

We have a local 5k/25k race each year in GR. If you sign up early (or go to their website) they have a training plan with similar results. Start in January and be ready for the race Mother's Day weekend. There's two plans (both starting at ground zero): 5k or 25k. I think the 5k may start later than January, but it's similar. I've used it as a guide for the 5k (although I tend to take longer to get to the jogging portions; not knees for me but lungs. Blech). Having a 5k "race" as a goal helped me. I didn't care where I placed, just that I was running with a bunch of others.

Maggie said...

Congratulations on the Healthy Living motivation!!! I checked out the site and think I'll give it a go. But like you the ice cream has to stay in the grocery store. And isn't it awful when you can't fit into something you made? I don't feel as bad if it's an item I purchased.

Marie-Christine said...

It's not the eating, it's the doggy walk deprivation... Did you see the study that concluded that human exercise partners end up just finding good excuses for each other not exercising, and that if you want to really go out there you need a dog? No dog ever turns down a walk, or even not acts enthusiastic about it.

Sigh.

Scandalous said...

This program works really well! I know quite a few people who have used it. Hmmmm, I do have that reunion next summer ::gives side eye to Nikes by the door::

Christine said...

I did the C25K program as part of my weight loss goals (I used sparkpeople.com - a fantastic free website) a couple of years ago. I've never considered myself an athlete, but the C25K program turned me into a runner. I now run 6k three times per week, which I know isn't a huge amount, but it's enough to keep me in shape & feeling good. My dh also did the C25K program last year (I inspired him).

It's a great program - I can't say enough good about it. I was absolutely amazed at the changes in my fitness level & what my body could do. Simply amazed.

Good luck!! Make sure you have good running shoes, and be careful because running & expending all that energy makes you hungry. Just be aware of your food choices & you should be fine.

Sophie Miriam said...

Oh, I did that! Actually, I think it was not that exact program, but it was very very similar. It worked fine, until I got stress fractures in both legs and the doctor would not believe there was actually anything wrong with me. (I could hardly walk for a week, and her suggestion was ibuprofen. Yeah.) I haven't run since then.

So, um, yeah....hope you have better results! :)

Cindy said...

I did a program similiar a few years ago. It was great to have a set schedule and only a few days a week didn't seem to overwhelming. As soon as you get over the hump and preferring to jog than walk, you will want to do it everyday and will be amazed at your progress. I loved it but have a screwed up ankle and the running finally got to it. Be careful and listen to your knee is my only advice. I found myself back on bike and swimming.

Megan Harmeyer said...

GOOD LUCK!!! I feel that running should be illegal, but I know I should do it. But, like you, I have an old knee injury that really makes it difficult to run. My bestie and I are starting the 30-Day Shred program on Sunday! I'm dreading it but looking forward to it at the same time.

meredithp said...

Thanks for posting this! Sounds interesting. But...there's something wrong with ice cream for dinner?

I'll go out and search "couch to walking". Very bad back, and ankles that suffer a lot from my clumsiness-running not such a good idea.

Good for you for doing this and remember to listen to your body, when it screams, it means it! :-)

LindaC said...

Thanks for pointing out this program. I would love to do this, but alas I currently have a weak knee. First I need to find some knee strengthening exercises and wait for the temperature to get down below 100 degrees. But if I can strengthen my knee, I would do this program later in the fall.

Good luck with you plan. I'll be watching for your progress.

tumblina said...

Did that program for a while, and it did get this cardio-allergic gal up to 23 minute solid "runs" (it took me a month to get past the first week's workout, so you are already doing awesome!). In the last few months I switched over to going by heart rate instead of time/distance, since it's turned out I'm still having cardio issues (to stay in the optimal zone, I have to slow down to a speed walk on the uphills, and do a slow jog everywhere else), but I still get 5K done at least twice a week, and have no issues running for the bus anymore!

Cennetta said...

The makings of a lean, fit sewing diva. I feel your pain. I've been struggling with weight fluctuation for years. But this year, it's not going down only up, up with exercising and good eating habits. Maybe I should kick the exercise routine up a notch.

Good luck with your fitness routine. Soon you'll wear that cute skirt.

C

Kaitlin said...

When I started running about 3 years ago, I did something similar to a C25K (although I didn't follow a formal plan - just run/walk intervals slowly building up distance). Running is great fun, partly because it was never something I thought I could do -- I was always the one walking the last quarter of the mile in high school gym! I just completed my first half marathon in May, and it felt great to be strong and fit enough to run that distance.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy running, and most of all, have fun with it. Don't get too caught up in the particulars of a program - just go at your own pace and listen to your body. Even when you get to the point of running longer distances continuously, walk breaks are still allowed! I actually still use walk breaks as a way to extend my distance without feeling too fatigued at the end of a workout.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

I have friends at work who did a similar program (notice I say they did! *LOL*) and it really worked. They ran in one of the NYC 5k marathons with pretty good times. I'm wishing you much luck with this!

Trudy Callan said...

How awesome. Go for it!

Trudy
www.sewingwithtrudy.blogspot.com

BeeBee said...

Ok, Shannon, i'll join you. I've become a true couch spud this summer and I need something to motivate me. It's too easy to do nothing right now. I'll start tomorrow. I just took a long (2 mile) walk with my son, so I'm good for today.
I have some skirts I want to get back into.

MushyWear said...

Hi Shannon. Yay for you! Running is my favorite exercise of all time. We have a local group of runners here on the island that I try to hook up with whenever I can. I haven't specifically done the program you link to, but it looks like a gentle way to break into a 5K. I hope your knee holds up for you and you end up loving it! I'll be running with you in spirit and cheering you on in your efforts. I have done a 5K and 10K so far this year. It's so fun to meet new people at the races.

Emily said...

I did a similar program last spring, and it was great! I've never been a runner, so it was new territory for me. Now, a year later, I can say that although my exercising hasn't been constant, I can run 3 miles easily -- and more if I want to. I even ran outside this winter and enjoyed it (!!!), which for those of us in northern climates, is quite a feat. :) I used this podcast: http://www.ullreys.com/robert/Podcasts/. In any case, I'm sure you'll be great!

Sewfast said...

I used Robert Ulrey's Couch25K podcasts and they were fabulous for getting me back in running shape...I recommend them to anyone starting out. I did my first half marathon in May...not bad for an old lady over 5o! Go for it!

a little sewing on the side said...

Yes, my DH and I did that together overe 3 years ago. It turned him into a devoted runner and I branched off into classes at the gym. It was a wonderful way to enter the world of vigourous exercise. And I had ice cream for lunch today (actually, a large salad and ice cream for dessert). Not that I advocate that, but it was a hard day at work and I needed it. :)

Mary said...

Your post was so timely. I am on day 5 of a new exercise routine. My plan was to exercise for at least 30 min. a day. I either play tennis or take a very brisk walk. I am going to look into the Couch25K info. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction!

melissa said...

Good going!! C25K is great, I know a LOT of people who've used it and carried on with the mileage after it's over, too. I didn't discover it until after I had already been bitten by the running bug, but it's a really solid programme.

And bear with me, because maybe you already know this but GO AND GET FITTED FOR RUNNING SHOES. Don't just buy a pair because they look nice, or you know the brand, or because they're expensive. It is extremely important that you go to a shop that watches you run and advises shoes based on your feet and your gait. The single biggest things you can do to avoid injury are a) wear the proper shoes and b) don't add too much mileage too fast (only 10% per week).

Oh, and if you have an iPhone, Runkeeper is AWESOME (I'm squirrellypoo on there!)

A Soldier's Girl said...

Right now, our dogs and we are on the C25k program and loving it. Because we've started barefoot running recently, we've stuck with the starting week for two weeks running. It's also helping the puppies get accustomed to the running.

Christiana said...

Wow! Great to hear that you've made the decision to join the C25K program. I haven't done that program but did take a 10 week running clinic several years ago. At the end of it I did run in a 5K road race. It's great to have the motivation to run with group. I kept on running for about 5 years after that but couldn't get past the 5K distance. Then I entered a 60k walking weekend and have been distance walking ever since. Completed a marathon, two half marathons and this year we had a walking vacation, we walked 325km in Northern Spain.

Congrats on joining the active lifestyle.

Christiana
sewamsuing.blogspot.com

tarabu said...

Congrats - several in my office are doing it - the run is in two weeks - eek

yea, and week five was surprisingly not easy

denise@thebluegardenia.com said...

I tip my vintage chapeau to you!

French_Seam said...

I started running a few years back: it's the only thing to shift the flubber off my thighs. Unfortunately I got knocked off my bike last year, busted my knee and now can't run at all.
Best of British to you xx

Tany said...

The program sounds interesting; I never tried anything like it (I usually workout at the gym) but I wouldn't mind trying it. I like running but the lack of outdoor tracks around the place where I live always breaks my mood of starting a running program. I know for a fact that it's the best way to lose weight

Liana said...

Good luck with what sounds like a great program. If you're enjoying it already, that's half the battle.

Ann's Fashion Studio said...

Congratulations for starting this program,it sounds like a great program to get you to your 5k goal.
I do a weight training program and run, but I must say running is my favorite. I feel at my best after a run and it is one of the best ways to maintain weight (& loose it too).

Have you been to the store "The Running Room"? It also has Clinics if you ever wanted to try running with a group/trainer. They appear to be very popular.
I like shopping in this store :)

http://www.runningroom.com/hm/inside.php?id=2305

Dilly said...

Yay - good for you!

I've been thinking about doing this programme for a while now - like you, I've noticed clothes getting tighter, and things I've made no longer fit me.

So far I've sorted myself out with a sports bra, but need to get some running shoes, and I keep putting it off because I hate sports shops (and I've just moved to a different country!). Excuses excuses!

Keep us up to date with your progress :)

How's the sewing going? Haven't seen many pics for a while.

Anonymous said...

Ha Ha, I started htis on saturday, failed stage one and have not had a chance to go again. Will be more dedicated in spring.

Hef

Nancy W. said...

Congratulations and much encouragement on your new endeavor. I, too, am disgusted with my weight and want to get rid of it! I am on a light exercise schedule right now due to my recent knee surgery. I am still wearing a brace. My husband is currently doing a triathalon. This is a man who has done NO exercise in the past I don't know how many years and has a desk job where he SITS all day. I can't believe it. He started in early July and already they are running 5 miles, biking for hours and swimming almost a mile. He is working with Team in Training which is a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. So, it can be done (just not by me right now) Good luck!

Janice said...

Great post! Congrats on your newfound motivation! Let us know how it goes.

This is somewhat unrelated to weight but is related to general health and well-being and exercise. I've always had an issue with depression and I've found that regular exercise keeps my emotions balanced. I took up jiu jitsu 3x a week two years ago, and still go regularly now, and it really helps.